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tan and fell upon his neck, when he wept and kissed him, what a delightful triumph did Jacob enjoy!

Let us profit by an example fraught with such profitable lessons! Are we in any trouble? Do clouds gather round? Is misfortune pressing upon us? Are friends cold and dissant? Are enemies many and inveterate ?

Let us praypray long-pray ardently—pray prevailingly.

And the victory will come. The day of joy and peace vill dawn. If not here, beyond this vale of tears. God will make all these troubles redound to our joy. And when the glories of that better world shall be revealed; when our enemies here shall meet us as friends there, and more than all, when God, reconciled to us through the blood of Jesus, shall welcome us to his love, then shall we realize the full benefit of a life of prayer. Then, we shall have no regrets over any fervent, agonizing petitions we may have offered. Rather, we shall thank our heavenly Father for those troubles and trials, which met us in our path, and which kept us fast by a throne

of grace.



And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh : and Moses cried unto the Lord, be. cause of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses: and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.-Ex. viii. 12, 13. (See also 30, 31, and ix. 33 ; x. 18.)

The time fixed in the divine purpose for the deliverance of the children of Israel from their long and oppressive bondage in Egypt having arrived, God gives this direction to Moses: “When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all these wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in thine hand." 4:21. From this requirement, it would appear that the plan of divine operations in Egypt, designed to effect the release of God's people, had not only been settled,

but had been announced to Moses. And as he was commissioned to superintend the process of their deliverance, this annunciation was highly important; otherwise, Moses would not have known how to proceed, except by special and immediate revelation, and would have been exposed to despair of success, in view of the strange and prolonged obstinacy of Pharaoh. “Which I have put in thine hand;" i.e. which I have commanded, and will enable thee to perform.

In fulfillment of his commission, Moses presents himself before Pharaoh and announces his message. The monarch demands some sign or evidence of his own and Aaron's divine commission. In compliance with this reasonable requirement, Aaron's rod is turned into a serpent in the monarch's presence, presenting a miracle, as the highest possible evidence of their divine commission. Upon this, Pharaoh summons his wise men, or magicians, who attempt to deceive the monarch, by their feats of juggling or legerdemain. In this they are successful. The illusion of Pharaoh is complete, and he refuses compliance with the divine command to let Israel depart.

Upon this, the plagues commence; the first of which was to turn the waters of the Nile into blood. It can no longer be drank, and even the fish die and putrify on the shores. By digging, however, sufficient is procured to preserve life ; which, added to the renewed enchantments of the magicians, fortifies the monarch in his obstinacy, and in his refusal to let Israel depart.

At the expiration of a week the waters are restored, and flow as usual. A second plague commences. Frogs,

a race obscene,
Spawn’d in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth,
Polluting Egypt; gardens, fields, and plains
Were covered with the pest; the streets were fillid;
The croaking nuisance lurk’d in every nook;
Nor palaces, nor even chambers 'scaped;
And the land stank-so numerous was the fry.

From this judgment there is no escape, and no respite. Pharaoh relents; Moses and Aaron are recalled, and the now wavering monarch requests them to entreat the Lord to remove the plague, and Israel may depart.

Moses assents; and so full of confidence is he in God, as a prayer-answering God, that he allows Pharaoh to fix the time for the removal of the plague. That time was

"tomorrow." If it be asked, why he did not demand an instantaneous cessation of the plague, it may be replied, that perhaps he imagined that Moses would require time to present his petition; or, which is the more probable supposition, he might hope that, meanwhile, the frogs would, by some other means,

be removed. Moses


forth from the presence of Pharaoh, and enters into the more august presence of Jehovah. And how does he pray? He “ cries." “From the force of the original,” remarks a commentator, “it is to be at least inferred that Moses prayed with great earnestness and intensity of spirit, if not with special energy of utterance.” He felt deeply for the honor of God; deeply for his oppressed brethren of the house of Israel; and deeply for Pharaoh, whose heart he desired to see relent under manifestations of divine power. The prayer of Moses was not merely a set of words, which he had only to repeat, and the desired response would

come; but true, fervent, intense supplication was as essential to his success, as, in after ages, it was for Paul, or any other apostle, or minister of Jesus Christ. Indeed, Moses in promising Pharaoh that the plague should be stayed “to-morrow," and, perhaps, at a particular hour, had no special assurance from God that it should so be, and therefore he might so promise the monarch; but Moses knew that God always hears the prayer of faith, and, designing to offer such prayer, he feels warranted in giving that assurance.

It is not important to dwell upon the other instances of supplication by Moses in behalf of Pharaoh. Those sup

plications were often repeated, and probably in more instances than are recorded. But there is one instance which might have affected a heart still harder than Pharaoh's: when (9: 33) Moses goes forth out of the city to entreat the Lord, walking amid the most sublime and awful displays of divine power—the lightnings gleam with terrific flashes, and fireballs roll with horrid glare along the ground, while corresponding thunders break in peals upon the astonished inhabitants; calm, fearless, and confiding, Moses walks forth, and, raising his hands to heaven, implores the God of those convulsions that there may be “a hiding of his power."

From this example of Moses learn two important les


1. Ever be ready and willing to pray for wicked men.

No matter how wicked, or hardened they may have become. No matter how often they may have violated their promises, nor what influences they may have resisted. They may have solicited our prayers, and then have acted most inconsistently with such requests. They may be even inimical to us ; oppressive in regard to ourselves and friends, and in open hostility to the plans and purposes of God; yet, on all proper occasions, we should be ready to forgive them, and be ready to pray for them; not once, nor twice, but as often as they desire, and even if they make no such request. And our prayers should proceed from benevolent hearts, and out of unfeigned lips.

2. Aim so to preserve and control your temper towards others, as to be able to pray for them affectionately, whatever provocations they may have given you.

In this respect, Moses has set a noble example. We hear of no intemperate replies; no reproachful epithets; no heated and unwarrantable threats. He acts with a dignity becoming an ambassador of God, and with a calmness and kindness, which should ever characterize the christian statesman. His errand was an important one, involving the honor of God

and the happiness of millions. He bears himself accordingly. His provocations are great, but he manifests no bitterness. His negotiations are protracted and fruitless, but he evinces no impatience. From every interview with this proud, imperious, and cruel oppressor, he departs with a spirit with which he can properly enter the presence of God and pray; and pray for him.



Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise,

and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry. And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows and your children fatherless.-Ex. xxii, 22–24.

HERE is an express prohibition to afflict the widow and the fatherless child; and a special warrant, in case they “ are in any wise"

” afflicted, to cry unto God. He avows himself the husband of the one, and the father of the other; and the righteous and ready avenger of the wrongs of both. “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widow, is God in his holy habitation.” Ps. 68: 5. In thus forbidding his people to afflict widows and orphans, he does, in fact, enjoin it upon them to comfort and assist them, and to be ready on all suitable occasions, to show them kindness. In making even just demands upon them, their condition should be considered; but injustice and oppression towards them God declares he will avenge by the retributions of his providence, if they cry to him.

And the reason for this particular divine cognizance of their cause is, that they may have no one to whom they can successfully complain, or appeal. Besides, they are supposed to be unversed in business, destitute of advice, timorous, and of a tender spirit. They might find it difficult to

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